Music Bank

 
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Powderfinger

Posted on Aug 19, 2017 in 90s, ROCK/POP

Within the space of three albums, Powderfinger emerged as one of Australia’s most popular radio-friendly rock bands. They hail from Brisbane, famous for its sub-tropical climate and its often ultra-conservative “deep north” politics. The band grew out of a three-piece, becoming Powderfinger in 1990 with the addition of two more members, including singer/guitarist Bernard Fanning. They cut their musical teeth performing cover versions of classics by Neil Young (taking their name from one of Young’s songs)…

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Johnny Ace

Posted on Aug 16, 2017 in 50s, Rhythm & Blues

The senseless death of young pianist Johnny Ace while indulging in a round of Russian roulette backstage at Houston’s City Auditorium on Christmas Day of 1954 tends to overshadow his relatively brief but illustrious recording career on Duke Records. That’s a pity, for Ace’s gentle, plaintive vocal balladry deserves reverence on its own merit, not because of the scandalous fallout resulting from his tragic demise…

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Melvins

Posted on Aug 13, 2017 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Grunge, Hardcore, Metal

The Melvins were the first post-punk band to revel in the slow, sludgy sounds of Black Sabbath, picking up where Black Flag left off with My War. Their music is oppressively slow and heavy, only without any of the silly mystical lyrics or the indulgent guitar solos; it’s just one massive, oozing pile of dark slime, rising from the swamp to bludgeon your eardrums. The Melvins’ first record was released in 1987…

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Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Posted on Aug 10, 2017 in 50s, Rhythm & Blues, Rock 'n' Roll

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was the most outrageous performer extant during rock’s dawn. Prone to emerging out of coffins on-stage, a flaming skull named Henry his constant companion, Screamin’ Jay was an insanely theatrical figure long before it was even remotely acceptable. Hawkins’ life story is almost as bizarre as his on-stage schtick. Originally inspired by the booming baritone of Paul Robeson, Hawkins was unable to break through as an opera singer…

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INXS

Posted on Aug 7, 2017 in 80s, New Wave, ROCK/POP

INXS hailed from the pubs of Australia, which is part of the reason the band never comfortably fit in with new wave. Even when they branched out into synth pop on their early recordings, they were underpinned by a hard, Stonesy beat and lead singer Michael Hutchence’s Jagger-esque strut. Ultimately, these were the very things that made INXS into international superstars in the late ’80s…

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Roy Head

Posted on Aug 4, 2017 in 60s, Country, ROCK/POP, Rockabilly

Actually a country and rock vocalist rather than an R&B star, Roy Head nevertheless cut one of the great pieces of uptempo soul in the mid-’60s. “Treat Her Right” on Back Beat made it to number two on the R&B charts and number two pop, and the fact that Head was white was soft-pedaled in R&B circles while the song made its way up the charts. That performance alone was enough to qualify Head as one of the finest blue-eyed soul singers of the 1960s…

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Ride

Posted on Jul 26, 2017 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie

With their first records, Ride created a unique wall of sound that relied on massive, trembling distortion in the vein of My Bloody Valentine but with a simpler, more direct melodic approach. The shatteringly loud, droning neo-psychedelia the band performed was dubbed shoegazing by the British press…

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Fifty Foot Hose

Posted on Jul 21, 2017 in 60s, Experimental, Psychedelic

Fifty Foot Hose were one of the most unusual ’60s San Francisco psychedelic bands, in part because they weren’t really that psychedelic. Like a few other acts of the time (most notably the United States Of America), they were trying to fuse the contemporary sounds of rock with electronic instruments and avant-garde compositional ideas. Only one album resulted from the ambitious enterprise…

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Television Personalities

Posted on Jul 17, 2017 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie, New Wave, Post-punk

Britain’s Television Personalities enjoyed one of the new wave era’s longest, most erratic, and most far-reaching careers. Over the course of a musical evolution that led them from wide-eyed shambling pop to the outer reaches of psychedelia and back, they directly influenced virtually every major pop uprising of the period…

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Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford

Posted on Jul 13, 2017 in 60s, Northern Soul, Rhythm & Blues, SOUL

A male-female duo, Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford reached the charts in 1962 with “I Need Your Loving,” a Top 20 hit in the mold of Ike & Tina Turner. Gardner had formed a Philadelphia group, called the Sonotones, in 1952, but teamed up with Ford ten years later…

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